We had not been complaining, you understand, but merely in a jocular way comparing notes with each other on some of the things that seem to be different now, some of the things we used to accept as normal which we find we can no longer accomplish.
"Yes," I replied to his question. "The Bible addresses the issue in various places. My favorite passage is in Second Samuel where Barzillai declines David's invitation to join him in the palace in Jerusalem. During David's exile while running from his rebellious son, Absalom, Barzillai had housed and provisioned David and his retinue, for he was a man of great substance.
"When the threat had passed and David resolved to return to Jerusalem, Barzillai, went with David so far as the Jordan to see him safely across. In gratitude for his service, David asked Barzillai to come up to Jerusalem with him, abide at his house and eat at his table. The man responded
I am an old man. This day I am eighty years of age. Can I discern between good and evil? Can I taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear anymore the voice of the singing men or the singing women? Why then should I be a burden to my lord the King? I will go a little way across the river with you, and why should the King recompense me with such a reward? Let me then return to my own city where I can die and be buried by the graves of my father and of my mother."Yes, it is a condition of life that the hearing will likely fade, that our judgment may be impaired, that we will be unable to savor our sustenance, and unable to function in many ways that we found normal in our youth. Another passage that addresses this is the last chapter of Ecclesiastes. Poetic as it is, it goes into greater detail than the old man did at the Jordan River."
Word of the day: Read Ecclesiastes 12.